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Erin Clarke

Centre Manager - Great Beginnings Bathurst

“I love the sense of belonging that comes from 20 years in the early childhood sector and seeing Bathurst grow.”

I began my career in early childhood education and care in 1998 and started working at Great Beginnings Bathurst early in 2020. I have spent the last ten years as a Centre Manager. I hold a Bachelor of Teaching (birth – 8 years).

I have always enjoyed watching children learn so that’s where my journey started. I completed an introductory Child Studies course at TAFE while completing my HSC and then enrolled at CSU to complete my degree. The more I learn about children’s development, particularly their brain development, the more I want to know. Leading a team of educators who are dedicated to children’s brain and whole child development is a highlight of my career. 

Children are their own unique selves right from birth. They are not incomplete vessels that we have to fill with knowledge and skills rather we are there to inspire and scaffold their world so that we can bring out the best in each child. Magda Gerber is my favourite theorist and her view that all children are born capable guides my teaching style. 

I grew up in Bathurst and have raised four children in this community as a mum and educator. I love the sense of belonging that comes from 20 years in the early childhood sector and seeing Bathurst grow and develop into a thriving town. Our centre will be a responsive and reflective centre that values the knowledge of our families, our place in the Wiradjuiri Country, our children and our future.

All childcare centres, including our centre, use the foundation of play-based learning to guide our experiences every day. With access to a range of age-appropriate learning resources, trained educators, and new experiences among friends, we set children up to thrive in an environment that is dedicated to learning. Children develop their curiosity, problem-solving, confidence and resilience at our centre, and we carefully plan play-based learning experiences around their interests and learning goals. Over time, you will see your child develop abilities such as language, motor movement, memory, concentration and social relationships all by partaking in these experiences - it's a truly incredible journey to witness!

We have a collaborative teaching approach within our centre. Our children are enrolled into a specific room, but our team works as a whole. We have people from multicultural backgrounds, new graduates and experienced educators who all bring different life skills and knowledge, so we draw on our strengths and interests to ensure children are provided with a rich and evolving curriculum. Although we are a new Early Childhood centre to Bathurst our team have worked together in various locations for the last 5 years. The team of educators at Bathurst pride ourselves on being respectful, reflective pedagogists who base our work on the relationships and trust of our families as well as the knowledge and expertise of modern evidence-based theorists. 

Our team understands just how important your children are to you and we ensure we take our responsibilities seriously. Great Beginnings has extensive policy and procedures in place to assist our team in protecting children in our care. You can read more about our commitment to safety here.

To support our families, we stay in contact with families through our all-in-one family app with regular emails and participating in online community awareness events such as the Teddy Bear Hunt and the Rainbow Trail. 

Erica our Chef often bakes additional cakes and slices for families to enjoy together of an afternoon and parents can grab a “cuppa to go” from our tea and coffee station located in our foyer. 

We believe that spending time during the initial stages of your child’s journey into our care reaps the benefits in the longer term so we like to offer the opportunity for lots of informal stay and play sessions so that you already have a rapport before you need to entrust us with the care of your child.

There is always someone on site that can assist with the challenges of enrolling a child to a new centre.  Some families are confident and need little nurturing, but some families are hesitant, and we are willing to spend the time to work out what sort of help and support your family needs. 

I look forward to welcoming your family to our centre and answering any questions you have.

Call to enquire 1800 517 086